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Oatmeal, Carrot, and Apple Breakfast Squares

Here’s a wholesome recipe for tender, sweet, and satisfying squares that—though the name hints at the perfect time to eat them—make delightful snacks any time of day. But don’t let their flavor fool you; packed into every wholesome square are 10 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 15% of your daily requirement for calcium and iron, and 70% of your vitamin A. Buttermilk keeps the cake tender, carrots and apples add moisture, and walnuts and coconut combine for a crunchy topping. Stored in an airtight container, these squares stay fresh and delicious for days (that is, if they last that long in your kitchen).

Makes 12 squares


Butter, for greasing the baking dish
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups peeled, grated carrots (about 4 medium)
1 cup peeled, grated apples (2 medium)

2 cups walnut pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup (scant 2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking dish.

Place the oats, flour, flaxseeds, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and the oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the buttermilk.

Add the oat mixture to the buttermilk mixture, and stir to combine. Add the carrots and apples, and stir just until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.

Place the walnuts, coconut, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir to blend, and sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the batter.

Bake until the batter has set, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cut into 12 squares. (The squares can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.)

Note:  Whole wheat pastry flour is a lower-protein flour that’s perfect for making light, tender biscuits, pie crusts, cookies, and quick breads with whole-grain goodness. You’ll find it in well-stocked supermarkets, especially during the holiday baking season, as well as at online retailers like King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill.

PER SERVING (1 square): 530 calories, 31g fat, 40mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 59g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 34g sugars, 10g protein. Percentage daily values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 70%, Vitamin C 6%, Calcium 15%, Iron 15%.

Photo and recipe from The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman, courtesy of Workman Publishing. Nutritional analysis by

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